Hoops Writing Club: 1st Assignment

This is my first submission to the Hoops Writing Club. I’m always looking for a new excuse to write, so I was more than happy to jump on board.

The first assignment is to write a first person story about a person that isn’t you. I’m going to be brutally honest, first person isn’t one of my strong suits. I’ve been trying to work on it, so I hope this one turns out all right.

So here goes… enjoy!


That disrespectful piece of shit came out of nowhere.

I was standing in front of the train station and speaking on my cell phone and then it happened. Someone noticed that I was distracted and ran up behind me, grabbing my knapsack and running off with it. I tried to run after him but you’d think my thief was Usain Bolt by the way he just vanished into the crowd in a matter of seconds. I was backpacking through Europe, and I had just lost the only thing that meant something to me. I had my clothes in there, my wallet and my passport. Everything I needed to get on my train and stay on schedule. That bastard had just seriously fucked up my day.

During my futile race to catch my thief, my mother had hung up and I was unable to call her back. I had lost everything I had and I did what any other twenty-five year old woman would do at this point: I cried. I didn’t open wail like a baby, but I couldn’t stop my eyes from watering as I tried to think about what I was going to do. Obviously I would need to hit the nearest embassy, but there was no telling where that was in this country. So many questions were popping into my head and I didn’t know where to start.

I was suddenly startled when someone tapped me on the shoulder for behind. I jumped back and standing beside me was a young man who was only a few years older than I. He was dressed up but had his suit jacket over his shoulder because the weather was too hot to have that many layers on. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“Thank goodness.” I said as I breathed a sigh of relief. “Someone just stole my bag. Everything I owned was in it.”

“I’m sorry to hear about that.” The young man answered. “Where were you heading?”

“Out of the country.” I answered. “Now I need to get a new passport.”

“Well, that means you need to head back for the capital.” He replied. “I happen to be heading that way if you’d like to come along. You don’t need a passport to travel that far.”

“I don’t have any money.” It was a lie, but I had no where near the amount I needed to take a train to the capital.

“Don’t worry about it.” He said with a smile. “I could use the company, especially with someone from my own part of the world.”

“Thank you.” I said as we started to walk towards the train station. “My name is Karen.”

“Hello Karen.” The young man said as he offered his hand. “My name is George.”

I reached out and shook George’s hand. He seemed very nice and since all we were going to do was ride a train full of people, I didn’t have to worry about him trying to take advantage of me. Being with him and on my way back to the embassy seemed a lot safer than standing out in front of the station with no means to help myself. I watched as George walked up to the ticket booth and purchased two tickets for the capital. After getting the tickets from the clerk he immediately handed one of them over to me, a gesture to make sure he was someone I could trust. “Thank you.” I said as I took the ticket and put it in my pocket.

“You’re welcome.” George replied as he held the door open for me to walk through into the station first. George had checked in two bags when he got our tickets so there was nothing for us to carry onboard, just ourselves. We strolled through the lobby towards the train, which apparently was leaving very soon. I had no intention of waiting around as I wanted to get to the embassy as soon as possible, which meant sooner was better for me. Having to replace everything was going to be a hassle. I was going to be in the capital for at least a few days and that was going to fuck up my entire schedule. Still, I had caught one break being with a young man from my own country that wanted to help out in my time of need. I still kept an eye out for the nearest exits in case George turned out to be another creep that wanted to get into my pants. Yet from what I was gathering by his behaviour, George was a true gentleman. Thankfully for me, chivalry was not dead on this day.

Once onboard the train George lead us to our seats, which to my surprise was in the first cabin. The seats were more comfortable, had lots of leg room and I could see a bar at the end of the car we were in. Based on the suit he was wearing, I could tell that this was likely not an inconvenience to George’s pocketbook. His suit was easily a few thousand, so our tickets were a small price to pay to not only have someone to talk to for the train ride into the capital. Few men could resist helping a fair lady that was stuck in an undesirable situation. I sat by the window, which George was happy to give up. He seemed to be the aisle seat kind of guy who didn’t like to be trapped between the window and another person.

It was then when I started to notice something. There were a lot of police officers at the station. They were looking for someone. “What’s going on down there?” I asked as I watched some of the officers step onto the train.

George looked a little nervous. “I need to ask you for a favour.”

Since he was helping me out, I was reluctant to say now but I wasn’t the kind of girl to agree to anything without hearing details first. “What is it?”

“I’m going to speak with these men when they approach us. I need you to go along with what I’m about to tell him and not contradict me.” George gave me an innocent smile, but I could tell there was something behind his request.

I looked back as I could see they were all looking at passports and checking papers of every passenger on the train. “Are they looking for you?”

“Kind of.” George honestly replied.

“What did you do?” I quickly asked him.

“Nothing.” George answered. “It’s not what you think.”

“Then why are they looking for you?” I asked, refusing to let go.

”I’ll explain once we’re on our way to the capital.” George answered. “I just need your help to get going.”

I paused for a moment. He just paid for my ticket, helping me in my time of need so who was I to refuse him. “All right.”

When the officer arrived to our seats, he asked something in French. I couldn’t make it out, but I didn’t have to. George replied in fluent Francis, and then took out his passport and handed it over to the man. They kept speaking for a few moments and during the conversation, George reached over and took my hand in his. The two men laughed and the officer returned the passport before moving on.

“What was that about?” I quickly asked.

“He wanted to congratulate us on our recent nuptials.” George answered. “That’s what I took your hand, to hide the fact that you were not wearing a ring. Once he realized we were together, he moved on.” We sat there in silence for a few moments, waiting for the police to get off the train. Once it was clear, George spoke again. “They’re looking for a man travelling alone, so thanks to you I was able to avoid them.”

“Did I just do something illegal?” I quickly asked.

“Not that I’m aware of.” George answered.

A few moments later the train started to leave the station. I couldn’t wait any longer. “Why did you need my help?”

George looked around, than sat back into his chair. “Someone tipped off the police I would be here and I needed to get back to the capital as soon as possible.”

“Are you a criminal?”


“Are you armed?”

“Wish I was.”

“That’s comforting.”

”I’m an American. I feel naked right now.”

“So what the hell are you then?”

George leaned over and whispered. “I guess you could call me a spy.”

I paused for a few moments. “They still do that in this day and age?”

“I’m afraid so.” George confirmed. “No matter how many hackers you have working in front of countless computer screens, in the end someone still needs to do the heavy lifting.”

“So what brings you here?” I asked.

It was a question George wasn’t in the mood to answer. He was too busy looking at the other passengers in the same cabin. Our area was only half full, which is typical of a train heading into the capital but it was easy to see George was distracted. He looked back and whispered again. “Let’s go to the bar.”

We both took off our seatbelts and walked toward the bar that was at the front of the cabin. I quickly took a seat and ordered a glass of white wine, eager for something go take the edge off. I looked back at George who was still standing. “Vodka martini?”

“Cute.” George replied with a coy smile. “I’ll have a Dr. Pepper.”

Just as George reached over for his drink, he pulled a memory stick out of his pocket and slipped it into my hand. “Put that in your pocket. You’re wearing jeans so it’s less likely to fall out.”

“Okay.” I slipped the memory stick into my pocket, praying that this still wasn’t some rouse to get into my pants.

“Excuse me.” George said as he abruptly put down his drink. Someone from the back of the cabin had walked up to the bar and then started to run when it became apparent that George was going to approach him. The man tried to throw a punch at George’s head but he easily blocked it and drove an open hand chop into his attacker’s inner elbow before driving his elbow from the same arm into his attacker’s chin. That shot caused the attacker to stumble back, dazed from the elbow he just received. George didn’t wait for his attacker to recover as he lunged forward and drove a forward kick into the man’s sternum, knocking the attacker clean off his feet and onto his back.

“Holy shit!” I called out as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

George replied by tossing twenty euros onto the bar and grabbing my hand. “Let’s find another seat.”

We transferred over to another part of the train and tried to find some new seats. Halfway through the cabin, George pointed to a seat. “Sit there and I’ll be right back.”

As much as I didn’t like being told what to do, I sat down by the window and watched as George took off for another car. I grabbed a used newspaper from the seat in front of me and pretended to read it as I watched three men ran past me, talking to each other in a language that I couldn’t understand. They never saw my face and I did my best to look like another other passenger. I waited for what seemed like hours but was only half of one before George finally returned to sit beside me. “Where the hell have you been?” I hissed at him.

“I had to do some heavy lifting.” George replied, out of breath. He had a bruise above his right cheek and there was some blood trickling down his left temple. Aware of the situation, George pulled out a handkerchief and took care of the blood with it. “I’ll be all right.”

“What happened to the other guys I saw running around?” I quickly asked. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out they were looking for him and were likely the ones responsible for his injuries.

“They had to depart early.” he calmly answered.

”But we haven’t stopped yet.”

“I know.”

There was a long, awkward silence after that. George just admitted to tossing someone off a moving train and I thought it might be best not to quibble about it just yet.

“Are you going to be all right?” George finally asked.

“I will be as long as you don’t toss me off next.” I replied.

”I guess I deserve that.” George admitted. “If it makes you feel all right, they were trying to kill me. Everything I did was clearly in self defence.”

I dug into my pocket and pulled out the stick. “Would you like this back?”

George took the stick back from me. “Thank you.” He put the stick away and then pulled out a small bag from the same picket. “Roasted almonds?”

“No thanks.”

After everything I had just witnessed, I wasn’t in the mood to chit chat and just wanted to get back to the embassy and be rid of this entire ordeal. We sat there for over an hour, just hanging out before finally George felt the need to speak again. “Where were you heading?”

“Are you going to follow me?” I asked.

“Of course not.” George answered. “Since everything you owned was in a single bag, one can tell you were backpacking across Europe. What was your next destination?”

I was hesitant to reply. “Venice.”

”Very nice.” George said as he sat back. “Especially this time of year.”

“Well thanks to my thief I might have to skip it to get back on schedule.” I said as my frustration began to boil. “There’s no telling how long it will take me to get everything back on track.”

“I’m very sorry.” George said as the conversation again grew very quiet. It wasn’t long before we were finally in the capital. I had already been there once and didn’t like being back here again.

After helping me off the train, George took my hand. “Give me a moment to get my bags and then I’ll get you a cab.”

“No offence.” I replied. “But I would prefer to go to the embassy alone.”

“No offence taken.” George replied with a grin. “I’m not going that way so there’s no need to be afraid.”

I stood there in the middle of the station’s lobby, waiting for George to return with his luggage. It took a few moments longer than I thought it should and began to worry that the spy had left me high and dry to make my own way back to the embassy. Moments later George returned to the lobby with his bags and instead of leading me to a cab, he handed me a new ticket. “There you go, for your trouble.”

I took the tickets from him and opened it. “I can’t go to Venice.”

“Well not without this.” George replied. Before I could say anything, George opened up one of his suitcases and pulled something out.

“You son-of-a-bitch!” I screamed at him. “You stole my bag!”

“No I didn’t.” George countered. “I took it away from the man who stole it from you. If it makes you feel any better, I may have broken his nose.”

I took the bag back from George and looked at it. Everything was still there.“Why didn’t you give this back to me at the station?”

“I’m sorry, Karen.” George replied. “I still needed help getting back here.”

“So you used me!”

“I couldn’t have done it without you.” George said as he handed me a card. “This is one of the best hotels in Venice. My name is on the back of it. Show this to the manager and he’ll give you one of his best rooms for free.” Before I could answer, he handed me another card. “This one has my cell phone number on it. I owe you one, so call me if you ever need help with anything during your trip.”

“Thanks, I guess.”

“I’m the one who should be thanking you Karen.” George said with a cryptic smile. “Myself as well as a grateful nation.”

“What exactly was on that thing?” I asked.

“Nothing.” George replied. “And I was never here. This never happened.” Before I could respond, George took his bags and proceeded to walk away. I would never see him again…

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February 11, 2013

lol You do first preson just fine! That story was like tony the Tiger… it was grrrrrrreat!

by far the most dialogue i’ve seen on anyone’s story so far, well done.

February 13, 2013

I enjoyed this. It was different and interesting and I really liked it. You are very good at keeping the conversation flowing as well as the action. It was a nice balance of words with hints of what the people were doing so we could picture their movements (so many forget that, myself included). I will look forward to reading more from you! 🙂

I feel guilty noting when I haven’t written a story of my own, so I’ll make it private. You shouldn’t doubt your ability to write first-person. I enjoyed the plotline. It’s strong overall, but I would suggest a few edits if it is something you want to work on further and market. But without knowing that, I won’t get picky. 🙂

Ah, I totally figured George was the one who stole her bag… but he stole it from the thief. Nice little twist. 🙂 This had a good flow to it… all the makings of a good spy movie. I liked it. 🙂

March 15, 2013

Loved that it had so much dialogue…everyone elses has so much narrative…so awesome job!!!